29Apr Email from ACP Leadership

Dear Members,

                         As you are probably aware, The ACP has taken a public position in relation to the new Liturgical Texts that are being introduced in the autumn.

We have objected to them on two counts:  the poor quality of the texts themselves, and the authoritarian way in which they are being imposed.

We met with a delegation from the Bishop’s Conference, but with little success.

Now we need to decide what, if any, should be our next step. So we need to consult our members.  For this purpose we are having a meeting in the parish hall in Portlaoise on Thursday, June 2nd next at 2.30pm.  All members are welcome.

We are also inviting to this meeting a number of Church related lay groups. Any member who wishes to invite or bring along some lay people who have opinions on this matter (maybe members of liturgical groups or pastoral councils) should feel free to do so.  The meeting will be chaired by Martin Kennedy.

We also wish to draw our members attention to the fact that we now have available to us a team of experienced legal advisors which we can make available to members.  If you wish to avail of this service please contact any of the leadership team.

Can I also remind those who haven’t yet paid their €20 membership fee to kindly do so on the website or by sending it directly to me at Esker, Athenry, Co. Galway.

Tony Flannery  (on behalf of the Leadership Team:  P.J. Madden, Sean McDonagh and Brendan Hoban)

10 Responses

  1. Association of Catholic Priests

    Dear Brothers,

    I am an Irish missionary priest in the United States very concerned
    with the Church back home that gave me so much and is now in disarray.

    For what it is worth, my views on the new sacramentary are that a
    decision has been made by Rome and bishops and there will be no
    backing down. We had the same objections here in the States to the
    language but to no effect. So I suggest you channel your energies in a
    positive way rather than be seen to be hostile to the ‘system.’ If not
    you will be labeled and have no effective input to the renewal of the
    Irish Church. As I see it, renewal of the bishops and priests has to
    be profoundly INNER, RADICAL CONVERSION. On the other hand is the
    renewal of the laity in the form of affirmation and formation to take
    on their rightful place, not in the Church, but AS Church. Later I
    will offer some practical suggestions in these areas.

    Your brother in the risen Lord.
    John James Smith

  2. Joe O'Leary

    Fr Smith, is this some kind of counsel of despair, or defeatism? Suffer in silence? Radical interior conversion is a wonderful thing if God grant it, but it cannot make a mediocre translation good and it cannot make it less damaging to the faithful, for whose instruction and spiritual nourishment we, as much as the bishops, are responsible. Nor can interior conversion make a bad ‘system’ good. You seem to think it is fatal for a group of priests to ‘be seen as hostile to the “system”‘ — Is this not just the sort of clerical caution that has robbed priests of their voice? Is it not one of the reasons why the church is in disarray? The disarray has not come from free speech but from the lack of open discussion. The disarray takes a silent, passive form, most notably in the empty pews. You recommend more of the self-stifling that has poisoned us!

  3. Joe O'Leary

    But I do look forward to the practical suggestions.

    I feel that priests have been presented with something like a Zen koan — they rack their brains to know what to do with the new translations. If they simply read them as written, that will not satisfy some bishops who say that good celebrants should know when to discreetly tweak a translation in view of the needs of a given congregation (a New Zealand bishop writing in The Tablet).

    On creative days, priests make some attempt to redeem the dismal collects and postcommunions of our present liturgy by changing a phrase here and there or by replacing the prayer altogether. I think the pressures of the new situation created by the mediocre new translations will lead to much more of this, whether with good or bad results I don’t know.

  4. Martin

    I want to share with you something I spoke of to a fellow parishioner on Saturday.

    A man works in McDonald’s. Let call him Ian. Ian has worked in McDonald’s for 1 year. But recently, complaints have been coming from customers. They find that their Big Mac does not contain any tomato. So they complain. The restaurant manager, Emma, approaches Ian, corrects him, and leave him to it. But the complaints continue. Ian is not making Big Macs according to McDonald’s specifications. How long would he last in the post if he continued on that path?

    Now you can see how Catholics feel when their priests deny them their right – Holy Mass according to the approved books of the Church – with the required words and rubrics.But unlike McDonald’s, priests don’t seem to be held accountable.

  5. Pete Berry

    Martin,
    Whatif the tomatoes are stale and indegestible?
    What is Ian to do, then?

  6. Joe O'Leary

    A man works in McDonald’s. Let call him Ian. Ian has worked in McDonald’s for 1 year. But recently, complaints have been coming from customers. They find that their Big Mac has lost flavor due to a change of formula. So they complain. Ian forwards the complaint to the restaurant manager, Emma, who tells Ian it is none of his business and has been decided by the higher-ups. But the complaints continue. Ian continues to make Big Macs according to McDonald’s specifications. Complaints increase; customers drop off; Ian quits; the branch is closed down and Emma is fired. How long would McDonald’s last if it continued on that path?

    Now you can see how Catholics feel when their priests deny them their right – Holy Mass according to the approved books of the Church – with the required words and rubrics.But unlike McDonald’s, priests don’t seem to be held accountable.

  7. Joe O'Leary

    Now you can see how Catholics feel when their priests deny them their right – Holy Mass according to the prescription of Christ and Vatican II as a living communicative prayable liturgy. But unlike McDonald’s, the bishops responsible for the new formula don’t seem to be held accountable

  8. Martin

    Well then, we can use Latin. I’ve spoken to many people. I’ve so often heard people say ‘The Latin Mass was beautiful’ and ‘Why did they get rid of it?’. Nobody wanted the new Mass. They hate the lameness and irreverence of the new Mass. Certainly, the new Mass can be offered well, but I’ve witnessed that on precious few occasions. I believe, along with a prelate in the Vatican, that in 20 years, there will be no Novus Ordo.

    If anyone wants the new Mass, then use the new translation, faithfully and obediently, otherwise, what you have will be taken from you. There’s very little mileage is primarily worshipping ourselves, which is basically what we’ve been doing for 40 years. Christ barely gets a look in. He might as well not be there, what with all the back-slapping, humanistic sermons, talking in church, clapping, hand-holding, and indifference to His real presence.

    I’ve said it before: new wine, new wineskins. Let’s be Church.

  9. Joe O'Leary

    “Well then, we can use Latin.” Does this not sound like “Let them eat cake”?

    “Nobody wanted the new Mass.” I believe there are polls that suggest the opposite.

    ” They hate the lameness and irreverence of the new Mass.” They perhaps no longer remember what the old Mass was like in practice. Certainly, the old Mass could be offered well, but even then it was attended by people who were mostly praying the rosary or other prayers. Few followed in their missals.

    “If anyone wants the new Mass, then use the new translation, faithfully and obediently, otherwise, what you have will be taken from you.” This is a strange way to talk of the NO implemented by Paul VI and the bishops who were at Vatican II. Something is very wrong here.

    ” There’s very little mileage is primarily worshipping ourselves, which is basically what we’ve been doing for 40 years.” But we have listened to Scripture more than ever before since the ancient Church. This has ensured that the liturgy challenges us in a way the comfy routine of the average old Mass celebration did not.

    ” Christ barely gets a look in. He might as well not be there, what with all the back-slapping, humanistic sermons, talking in church, clapping, hand-holding, and indifference to His real presence” — Christ is triply present in the Eucharist — in the Community, in the Word, and in the Sacrament. Let us be careful not to abstract and reify the real presence in a way that African theologians have criticized as fetishsim.

  10. Kevin Burke

    Let’s go back to when the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the power and grace to spread the Word. He gave them the power to be heard and understood in many languages. The emphasis on being “understood”. The first listeners were not necessarily learned people, they were like the disciples themselves, carpenters, fishermen, farmers, tax collectors, ordinary people. They listened, heard and understood IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE. That is what is missing form these new translations, a language that is understandable without dumbing down or in any way degrading the message. By using this “high falutin'” language and demanding it I am being told that my ordinary language which form my prayers are not good enough! Sorry but that was not and is not Christ’s message.
    It seems to me that Rome or at least a group of men (!) in Rome have lost sight of us – the Church – and want to force us back into a subservient people with no voice. Again sorry, but that will not happen, that is partly the reason the institutional church is in the state it is – it does not listen to its people – who Christ said ARE the Church.
    I grew up with the Latin Mass, I was an alterboy and I rejoiced when the mass was translated into words I could understand, I could now enter into the full understanding of what was going on, I could finally pray the mass. The new translation which has as yet to be explained to any parish in Ireland is going backwards. I OBJECT and will continue to object until somebody hears me, listens to me and responds in a Christ like way.